Friday, April 08, 2011

Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov


I read this for my Cracked Spinz book group. What a strange book. Because of the events in the novel, I am a little uncomfortable about admitting that I enjoyed it.

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First of all, there’s that numbingly clinical introduction. Then there’s Humbert Humbert, an unreliable narrator with a dark and twisted sense of humor that you can’t help enjoying, but then there’s his nasty, creepy predilection for “nymphets” and then there’s Russian-born author Nabokov playing around in French and English and making literary allusions (can't believe all those whiffs of Poe I was getting!), puns and anagrams with the same gleeful abandon of a kid at his mud pies and finally, there’s that rich, sumptuous, claustrophobic and decadently beautiful prose.
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My mixed feelings of unease and admiration in almost equal parts remind of my initial reaction to In Cold Blood — Capote’s precise, almost delicate narration and the horrific subject matter.Regarding Lolita, the air in the Bybeeary is already crackling, and book group is still several days away. We are going to have our greatest discussion ever; there’s no other possibility.

3 comments:

Avid Reader said...

I was expecting Lolita to be awful (preconceived notions about creepy old men an dsuch) when I read it a couple years ago. I was completely unprepared for the beautiful language and wonderful style. It really was good, though the content tends towards creepiness. I've been wanting to read more from him for awhile now.

softdrink said...

I didn't appreciate the language until I listened to it. And then, yes, it was hard to say it's a gorgeous book, because HH is just so ewww. So I'm in awe of Nabokov for making me feel both impressed and disgusted.

Eva said...

I loved the writing in this one too! SO I really should read some of Nabokov's other novels that don't deal with pedophilia. lol (I did read Pale Fire ages ago, but I barely remember it.)